How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Meadowbrook Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Meadowbrook AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Meadowbrook AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Meadowbrook AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Meadowbrook AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Meadowbrook AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Meadowbrook AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Meadowbrook AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Meadowbrook AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Meadowbrook AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Meadowbrook AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Meadowbrook AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Meadowbrook AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Meadowbrook Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Meadowbrook Alabama.